My wife and I went round to our neighbours' yesterday for a new year drink. In the general chit-chat that developed, about everything and nothing in particular, one of them piped up with a gem of a question: 'Do you think Russia is still communist?'
Well, like a good socialist I seized my chance to say that they certainly aren't, but that I didn't think they ever were.
The one thing I half expected didn't happen – to be mildly sneered at for being ignorant of Russia's 'communist' past, thereby being given a chance to expand on my statement. The other thing I half expected did happen – not a hair was turned, and the talk drifted to other things.
I don't think most normal people care about the Soviet Union one way or another anymore. It's going to be increasingly not worth rebutting. Any neo-Bolsheviks will look daft trying to hold it up as an example to follow in the 21st Century. It's not the ideal outcome for the socialist critics of the Soviet Union but that's the way the cookie crumbles.